Sprint Grabs Every Google Pixel Phone Available, Confirms Release Date - I/O 2019

As previously reported, the smallest national wireless carrier in the United States wasted no time when it came to securing a deal with Google over its Pixel-series Android smartphones, having announced plans to carry virtually every single one of its handsets that's still being produced as of today immediately following the official debut of the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL.

The Pixel 3 and Pixel 3a lines, both of which consist of two models each, will become available for purchase directly from Sprint on Thursday, May 8, while also being retailed by some of its shops and pop-up stands. Sprint isn't pricing any one of the new additions to its device portfolio differently to its rivals, though seeing it advertise the original Pixel range as "iconic" is certainly unusual - neither of these devices is particularly old nor remarkably popular, having launched with a few polarizing design features which some describe as hideous, whereas others see them as means of expression (though that expression probably translates to "hideous").

User perspectives notwithstanding, Sprint confirmed it intends to offer both the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL at under $35 a month for those willing to bundle them with its Unlimited Basic plan which doesn't place hard caps on anything but the data shared using a given handset's native hotspot mode. As an added bonus, Hulu can also be part of the package, assuming pretty much your entire family switches to Sprint or renews plans with the carrier.

More specifically, you're looking at about $31 per month for the 3a at most, whereas the regular Pixel 3 can set you back as little as $16.63. The larger and newer Pixel 3a XL goes up to $34.40 per month, whereas the Pixel 3 XL is being promoted even more aggressively in combination with the plans Sprint is most eager to sell to future owners of Made-by-Google phablets. Well, owner or temporary users, seeing how the best discounts offered by the company may reach up to $300, yet they're also tied to the Sprint Flex plan - a lease, not an installment-based purchase.

All of those plan pricing shenanigans may not make this obvious but the Android mid-rangers Google introduced today are significantly more affordable than last year's flagships and start at only $400 unlocked.

T-Mobile and U.S. Cellular are also set to begin carrying Google's modern devices this week, with prices being relatively similar regardless of one's storefront of choice. All in all, the Pixel 3a range seems to be by far the closest Google came to delivering a spiritual successor to the iconic (not Pixel-3 "iconic" - truly iconic) Nexus range of collaboratively developed smartphones designed to deliver a high value-to-dollar ratio and simultaneously demonstrate what a vanilla Android experience feels like. The timing of the launch does seem somewhat strange and while Google certainly benefits by avoiding an entire wave of new mid-rangers, it debuted its two phablets at what's traditionally known as a developer-only conference - its very own I/O gathering which kicked off in Mountain View earlier today and will be running until Thursday.

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Dominik Bosnjak

Head Editor
Dominik started at AndroidHeadlines in 2016 and is the Head Editor of the site today. He’s approaching his first full decade in the media industry, with his background being primarily in technology, gaming, and entertainment. These days, his focus is more on the political side of the tech game, as well as data privacy issues, with him looking at both of those through the prism of Android. Contact him at [email protected]